Detroit Reentry Center to close in January
The state’s prison population is now under 35,000 for the first time in 30 years.
DETROIT (Press Release/WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that the Detroit Reentry Center (DRC) will close in January, amid a declining offender population and improvements to programs and reentry services statewide. The facility employs 220.
“The decision to close a facility is always hard, and I realize this will be a difficult time for the staff at DRC,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said. “We understand and value the hard work and dedication the staff have shown, and it is our hope to find places for them within the department to continue that effort.”
The state’s prison population is now under 35,000 for the first time in 30 years. Michigan’s prison population peaked in March 2007 when it stood at 51,554. Michigan’s recidivism rate has dropped from nearly 45 percent to just 26.7 percent over the last 20 years, reflecting a significant decrease in the number of violations and new crimes committed by those on parole.
The offender population at DRC now stands at 70, a site which over the past three years has averaged about 500 offenders annually.
When the Ryan Correctional Facility was closed in 2012, the site was converted to become DRC. The initial purpose of the site was threefold: housing a small number of prisoners needing dialysis treatment, housing parolees who were transferred there directly from prison to complete additional MDOC programming before entering the community, and housing certain parole violators for additional programming or sanctions.
The population has been declining at the facility for several years as over time, the MDOC discontinued the practice of sending prisoners directly to DRC for programming as the department’s program centralization efforts resulted in more prisoners completing programming prior to their earliest release date. The MDOC also adopted additional evidence-based responses to non-violent parole violations, reducing the number of offenders serving sanctions at the site.
The dialysis operation and the prisoners needing the treatment will be moved to the Woodland Center Correctional Facility.
The DRC closure will result in a partial year savings of $12.3 million in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget as agreed to by the Legislature and Administration. Since 2005, the department has closed and consolidated 28 facilities and camps, which has resulted in more than $400 million in budget reductions.
The department will begin working immediately with the employees, their union representatives to determine bumping and transfer options for impacted employees. The department will attempt to absorb as many staff as possible into the vacancies the MDOC currently has throughout the system.
- Location: Detroit
- Opened in 2012
- Total employees: 220
- Corrections officers: 129
- Anticipated closure date: January 2021
MDOC Press Release, 2020. Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.